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Slow Cooker Sunday: Cuban chicken and rice — easy international comfort food

Chicken and rice is a classic comfort food combination that tastes so good no matter what time of year it is, and this Cuban chicken and rice adds a little international flair to your table.

The hardest thing about making this dish is finding saffron in the store that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. The saffron is what gives this dish a bright yellow color and unique taste.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

I shopped around to find a small quantity of saffron, which made the price a lot more reasonable. It was worth the little bit of shopping I had to do, because it really makes a difference in this dish. And a little saffron goes a long way.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

The chicken can be served in whole pieces or with just the meat pulled from the bone in pieces on top of the rice.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Either way, it’s a colorful and delicious dish to enjoy all year-round.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Slow cooker Cuban chicken and rice recipe

Serves 3

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours 15 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 3 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on, salt and pepper on both sides
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste) 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, for garnish


  1. Add salt and pepper to each side of the chicken breasts.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add the olive oil.
  3. Add the chicken, skin side down. Let cook until the skin turns a golden light brown color (about 9 minutes). Turn the chicken over, and cook until the other side also turns a golden light brown color (about 6 minutes).
  4. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.
  5. To a slow cooker, add the rice, chicken broth, wine, tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, bell pepper, onion, oregano, bay leaf, saffron, salt, pepper and peas. Stir together.
  6. Lay the chicken, skin side up, on top of the rice mixture.
  7. Turn the slow cooker on to the 2-hour setting, and cover with the lid. If the lowest setting on the slow cooker is 4 hours, then set it on the 4-hour setting, but just cook it for 2 hours or until the rice is fully cooked.
  8. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
  9. Serve hot, and garnish with chopped parsley and red bell pepper.
5-ingredient slow cooker recipes
slow cooker sunday

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